Transcript of letters from Arthur Thomas to his family, 1915-1918

Accession Number RCDIG0001095
Collection number 3DRL/2206
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Letter, Typescript
Physical description 138 Image/s captured
Maker Thomas, Arthur G
Place made At sea, Belgium, Egypt, France, United Kingdom: England, Western Front
Date made 1915-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Letters relating to the First World War service of 3470 Corporal Arthur Thomas, 6th Battalion. These letters, written between 15 October 1915 and 7 June 1918, were transcribed into one document by the family of Thomas. In these letters Thomas covers: embarkation day including what he called the therapeutic effects of a good troopship voyage; his experiences in Egypt which originally involved extensive trench digging; his transferal to France in March 1916; receiving letters from his family at home; his attempts to dissuade his brother George from enlisting; his love for his dog Scotty; detailed accounts of the fighting in and around Pozieres in July/August 1916; the conditions around Bapaume and Flers, in the constant rain and cold of the winter; the incident which he managed to intercept an Australian patrol who was lost in the night and were retiring towards the German trenches by mistake; his time in England in June 1917 to train Australian reinforcements; his return to France in 1918 to discover how much of his battery had been killed during in Ypres in 1917; his reluctance to fighting on the front line. These letter outline his initial positive thinking to his disillusion with the war which stems from the large scale losses of infantrymen.

Thomas' last letter details his excitement about his upcoming leave to see his family but he was killed by an artillery shell near Strazeele the next day.